Get ready to fire up the speculation engines, folks. Hot on the heels of news that some major carriers are currently testing iOS builds that reference LTE compatibility, Engadget has received the image you see above. Just what is that you ask? According to the source of the photo, it's 4G LTE equipment that was installed in a "major Apple store" by AT&T. The equipment is said to support both the 700MHz and AWS flavors of LTE, which are precisely the bands that AT&T plans to use for its 4G LTE network if the T-Mobile acquisition is approved. Additionally, Engadget is reporting that this particular Apple store, as well as all others in that region, are attempting to up sales floor staff by 30 percent. This staff increase is said to not be a part of Apple's usual holiday hiring spree.
Obviously this news, coupled with the LTE-referencing iOS test build that surfaced yesterday, has added quite a bit of fuel to the LTE iPhone fire. Still, most reports have claimed that Apple will likely hold off on introducing an LTE-enabled iPhone until sometime next year. Doing so would give LTE technology enough time to mature to the point where Apple likely could include it without having to make design compromises on its new handset. What do you all think? Is Apple waiting on LTE until it's time for the 2012 iPhone? Or are you holding out hope that we could see an LTE-enabled iOS handset this year?